Photo Journal

[Photo Journal] Monastery of San Juan De Los Reyes in Madrid


Myra here.

Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.

Claustro De San Juan De Los Reyes in Madrid


This monastery was founded by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile to commemorate the birth of their son, Prince John, and the victory of Spain over Portugal in the Battle of Toro in 1476. This citadel was completed in 1504 – truly an ancient historic structure.

According to Wikipedia:

“This monastery was initially named ‘San Juan de la Reyna’ and was conceived to be the mausoleum of the Catholic Monarchs. They would change their plans later, choosing Granada as their burial place, after its reconquest in 1492.”

“The monastery’s construction began in 1477 following plans drawn by architect Juan Guas, and was completed in 1504. It was dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist for use by Franciscan friars. In 1809 the monastery was badly damaged byNapoleon’s troops during their occupation of Toledo, and abandoned in 1835.”


I was particularly taken by the intricate carvings and the sculptures and the tiny little details that make up the entire edifice.


The ceilings and the colours of the paintings are also veritable works of art.


Still from Wikipedia:

“Its chancel is decorated with an altar (mid-16th century) from the former Santa Cruz Hospital by sculptor Felipe Bigarny and painter Francisco de Comontes, depicting scenes from the Passion and the Resurrection, as well as two scenes of the Santa Cruz legend.”


“Its cloister has a small garden. The ground floor’s ceiling is formed of German cross vaults set with figures of saints interspersed with animal and plant motifs, all created by the Toledo sculptor Cecilio Béjar in the 20th century.”


Admittedly, this one is not part of the monastery any longer, but its facade was quite imposing and worth sharing as well.


Clearly, I have fallen in love with Madrid.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

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